Pre-Season Stuffing

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Leinster 50 Gloucester 14

Leinster were able to hit the half-century mark in an impressive seven-try demolition of The Cherry and Whites at Templeville Road last Friday night.

Leinster were surprisingly slick in their early moments, carving up an out-of-sorts Gloucester defence from the first minute. It was Scott Fardy’s fine line that did the initial damage for scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park and prop Peter Dooley to act as the links to Isa Nacewa for the first try. The odds on something of a thrashing shortened when Jordi Murphy, Max Deegan and especially Rob Kearney created the opening for hooker Bryan Byrne to put down for his second pre-season try in two matches for Ross Byrne to convert in the 14th minute.

It was then Gloucester fly half Owen Williams began to come into the game, mainly through his educated boot. They were alive to space on the right and Henry Purdy powered through a tackle and Williams made the conversion in the 25th minute.

The finer detail of Leinster’s back play was exploiting gaps and the speed of Gibson-Park allied to good decisions by the Kearney brothers put Deegan in position to hammer home his physical advantage for Ross Byrne to make it 19-7 at the break.

From there, Ireland under-20 Jordan Larmour made a deep impression from his two tries, first stepping inside and then latching onto Cathal Marsh’s chip with lightening pace. Number eight Deegan was available on the left for his second try and wing Hugo Keenan grabbed the last try late on. It was a case of the floodgates opening, thereafter, as Leinster’s stuffed Gloucester for four more tries.

They were content to add a Ross Byrne penalty before Larmour pinched the first of his two tries on the hour and Deegan nabbed his second four minutes after.

Gloucester didn’t take the pre-season to badly as they bounced back with an incredible win over Premiership Rugby Champions Exeter, courtesy of a last minute try from Jason Woodward.